Managing the ‘Strong versus the Weak’ – Model of Hammurabi

Go Lean Commentary

Time for a lesson from history; a very old history; going back-back-back to the year 1754 BC.

Hammurabi - Photo 1This is when the Code of Hammurabi was enacted within the Babylonian Empire, a Super Power in the ancient world; see Appendix reference and VIDEO below. Despite the passage of 3,800 years, there is a lesson to glean from this ancient legal precept for us today. Despite the irrelevance of so many of the 282 statutes, there in the preface of the codified Law is this statement:

“So that the strong should not harm the weak”

Despite how much advances we have made in the millennia since King Hammurabi of Babylon reigned, this concept seems to be void in so many societies; this concept …

  • … is not in the Caribbean.
  • … is not in the United States.
  • … is not in the New World.

There is an obvious “ignorance or negligence of this concept” in the New World. Consider the experience in the United States, where the American DNA seems to be based on a consistent pattern of the “strong abusing the weak” and the long civil rights struggle to overcome the abuse. This is American History and the American Experience. Consider these examples of the “weak” that were harmed:

  • Native American / Indigenous people – The Ameri-Indians were mostly eradicated. Those who survived where corralled onto limited territorial grounds called “reservations”.
  • Slavery of Africans – After the indigenous people of the New World could not be sustained in servitude, their replacements – native African tribes people proved more enduring.
  • Civil Rights Movement – After international forces and pressure ended the “Slave Trade“, then abolition of slavery, the emancipated people were suppressed, repressed and oppressed as 2nd class citizens for 100 years in the country they helped build.
  • Indentured Servants (East Indians & Irish) – As replacement labor sources, these desperate groups were hoarded to the New World where their labors and cultures were exploited as an under-class.
  • Labor Movement – After a “long train of abuses” in factories and industrial plants, the common worker was subjected to forceful resistance to unionization and collective bargaining.
  • McCarthyism – Congressional “Witch-hunts” and industry blacklisting anyone with a dissenting thought in the capitalism -vs- communism debate.
  • Farm Migrant Labor – Immigrants were subjected to a form of “slavery under a different name” to harvest crops on Big Agra farms.

The American creed of “In God We Trust” seems to indicate that the country would be based on religious principles. But the actuality of the abuses of the “strong against the weak” belie any religious predisposition. The US and all New World territories claim to be a nation based on Judeo-Christian principles; but the Bible’s Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) states:

Job 29:12 – “because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them.”

… and the Bible’s New Testament (Christian Greek Scriptures) states:

James 1:27 – “[the form of] religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

So the abuse of the “strong against the weak” is clearly an unabashed societal defect in the New World. History teaches that with the emergence of any new economic engines, “bad actors” will also emerge thereafter to exploit the opportunities – the weak – with good, bad and evil intent.

The New World needs to apply this lesson-learned from the “Old World of 1754 BC” to protect the “poor, sick and huddled masses yearning to be free”.

This lesson from history aligns with the book Go Lean…Caribbean, which seeks to reform and transform the 30 member-states of the Caribbean region; the book describes empowerments to target the economic, security and governing engines of society to ensure an adherence to the principle of the Greater Good. While we can observe-and-report on the other countries, we can only effect change here in our Caribbean homeland. This commentary is the first, 1 of 4 on a series on “Managing the Strong versus the Weak”. The other commentaries detailed in this series are as follows:

  1. Managing the Strong versus the Weak – Model of Hammurabi
  2. Managing the Strong versus the Weak – Mental Disabilities
  3. Managing the Strong versus the Weak – Bullying in Schools: “Teach them well and let them lead the way”
  4. Managing the Strong versus the Weak – Book Review: Sold-Out!

All of these commentaries relate to nation-building, stressing the community ethos necessary to forge a society where all the people are protected all the time. This has not always been the case in the Caribbean nor in the US. We must do better. The Code of Hammurabi gives us a great model:

  • The code has been seen as an early example of a fundamental law, regulating a government — i.e., a primitive constitution.[14][15]
  • The copying [of the code] in subsequent generations indicates that it was used as a model of legal and judicial reasoning.[17]
  • The Code focuses on justice, following the three classes of Babylonian society: 1. property owners, 2. freed men, and 3. Slaves.[18]. This is a good model for considering today’s contrast for the Rich, Middle Class and the Poor.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to provide better stewardship for the region’s economic, security and governing eco-systems. The book actually conveys that there are many opportunities for the Caribbean to implement some “reasonable accommodations” so that the weak in society are not trampled on by the strong. Consider these two missions: Organ Transplantation & Disabilities:

10 Ways to Improve Organ Transplantation – Page 214

0 The Bottom Line on Organ Trade – Organ trade is the trade involving inner organs (heart, liver, kidneys, cornea, etc.) of a human for transplantation. In the 1970s pharmaceuticals that prevent organ rejection were introduced. This along with a lack of medical regulation helped foster the organ market. The problem of organ trafficking is widespread, although data on the exact scale of the organ market is difficult to obtain. (Most organ trade involves kidney or liver transplants). There is a worldwide shortage of organs available for transplantation, yet trade in human organs is illegal in all countries, except Iran.WHO states that, “Payment for…organs is likely to take unfair advantage of the poorest and most vulnerable groups, undermining altruistic donation and leads to profiteering and human trafficking.”
1 Leverage the full population – 42 million people – of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.
2 Diaspora Matching
3 Medical Tourism
4 Self-Governing Entities
5 Xeno-transplantation and Artificial Organs
6 Trauma Centers
7 Tissue Bank
8 Intelligence Analysis / Post Op – Data Analysis
9 Health Insurance Cooperation
10 Public Health Mandates – Pre (Vaccinations/Immunizations) and Post-op (mental & physical) challenges

10 Ways to Impact Persons with Disabilities – Page 228

0 The Bottom Line on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) – This Act is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. Disability is defined by the ADA as “…a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The determination of whether any particular condition is considered a disability is made on a case by case basis. Certain specific conditions are excluded as disabilities, such as current substance abuse and visual impairment that is correctable by prescription lenses.[ADA is based on the premise of] reasonable accommodation – an adjustment made in a system to “accommodate” or make fair the same system for an individual based on a proven need. Accommodations can be religious, academic, or employment related. This provision is also prominent in international law as the United Nations has codified the principle in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. [There are many international signatories to these principles and resolutions].
1 Leverage the full population – 42 million people – of the region for a Caribbean Persons With Disabilities Act.
2 Cruise Ships and Disability Tourism
3 Public Transportation and Public Accommodations – Assurance on CU facilities
4 Government Buildings and Proceedings
5 Mental Disabilities and Gun Control
6 Tele-type Call Center Access
7 Autism Awareness – Opt-Out Accommodations
8 Braille Websites
9 Closed Captioning … for Television
10 Public Awareness Campaign – Improve Image

The Go Lean movement (book and blogs) have identified the foregoing defect of the “strong abusing the weak”. The consequences and repercussions of this defect are:

Death or Diaspora

The Caribbean region needs to “weed out” this bad practice in our community ethos and instead, pursue the Greater Good. The book defines this attribute as follows (Page 37):

“The greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong”. –  Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Our Caribbean Diaspora grows with every passing day – Ghost Towns are viable possibilities in some countries. People who love their homeland abandon it for foreign shores. As a result, we have a sad state of affairs. The reasons why people leave in the first place have been identified as “push and pull”:

“Push” refers to the reasons people who feel compelled to leave, to seek refuge in a foreign land. “Refuge” is an appropriate word; because of societal defects – like the “strong abusing the weak” – many from the Caribbean must leave as refugees – think DisabilityDomestic-abuseMedically-challenged and LGBT – for their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

“Pull”, on the other hand refers to the lure of a more safer life abroad; many times our people are emigrating to communities where there are protections for the “weak against the abusive strong”.

If only we can mitigate these “push and pull” factors, then we can dissuade our societal abandonment and have a chance of elevating (reforming and transforming) our societal engines in the homeland. But there is a need for due caution to all those in the Caribbean desiring to emigrate to the US, we urge you to take heed: the “grass is not greener” on that other side. The American propensity is for the “strong to abuse the weak”; maybe even more so than in your home country.

The Go Lean book and movement wants to help reform and transform the Caribbean. We see the defects throughout the New World, we perceive the harmful effects, but only the Caribbean is within scope for our remediation efforts. While we want to dissuade our people from fleeing, it is our quest to apply best-practices to improve our homeland, to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Code of Hammurabi

Hammurabi - Photo 2The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to about 1754 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a seven and a half foot stone stele and various clay tablets. The code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (lex talionis)[1] as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man.[2] Nearly one-half of the code deals with matters of contract, establishing, for example, the wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon. Other provisions set the terms of a transaction, establishing the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, for example, or property that is damaged while left in the care of another. A third of the code addresses issues concerning household and family relationships such as inheritance, divorce, paternity, and sexual behavior. Only one provision appears to impose obligations on an official; this provision establishes that a judge who reaches an incorrect decision is to be fined and removed from the bench permanently.[3] A few provisions address issues related to military service.

The code was discovered by modern archaeologists in 1901, and its editio princeps translation published in 1902 by Jean-Vincent Scheil. This nearly complete example of the code is carved into a basalt stele in the shape of a huge index finger,[4] 2.25 m (7.4 ft) tall. The code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into the stele. It is currently on display in the Louvre [Museum in Paris], with exact replicas in the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, the Clendening History of Medicine Library & Museum at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the library of the Theological University of the Reformed Churches (Dutch: Theologische Universiteit Kampen voor de Gereformeerde Kerken) in the Netherlands, the Pergamon Museum of Berlin, and the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

Hammurabi ruled for nearly 42 years, from about 1792 to 1749 BC according to the Middle chronology. In the preface to the law, he states, “Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind.”[5] On the stone slab are 44 columns and 28 paragraphs that contained 282 laws. Some of these laws follow along the rules of ‘an eye for an eye’.[6]

Source: Retrieved March 29, 2017 from:


VIDEO – Hammurabi’s Code Explained: World History Review –

Published on Jan 7, 2015 – A 5 minute fun overview of Hammurabi’s Code, one of the earliest and most influential legal documents to be pounded out by Mesopotamia. Check out the real doc here

  • Category: Education

  • License: Standard YouTube License

Share this post:
, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *